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tv   [untitled]    May 13, 2013 8:30pm-9:01pm PDT

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grant period of january 1, 2013, through june 30, 2015. district attorneyy3/19/13; received from department.4/2/13; received and assigned to the budget and finance sub-committee.4/24/13; continued.5/3/13; transferred to the budget and finance committee.: >> okay. thank you very much. we have from our district attorneys office to speak on no. 8. >> thank you. this is not a grant coming to the city of san francisco. these are to support our efforts of the first of it's kind local sentencing commission that passed through here just over a year 1/2 ago. the specific responsibilities that will be completed by nccd are made by the city of san francisco co maybe through responding to members questions and providing briefings to all the membership and the public. in addition, they will also be providing support through our victims services. we are going to conduct victims services analysis to meet all the needs of the victims who are presented to our office. i'm happy to answer any questions that you may have about the technical assistance will provide and the san francisco sentencing commission. >> thank you very much. colleagues any questions?
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>> okay. seeing none. we move to public comment. is there any additional public comment? seeing none, public comment is closed. >> can i have a motion to mover this item forward? so moved. we can do that without opposition. please call item no. 9. 130274 [accept gift - design services and furniture - $26,445.43]1302749.resolution authorizing the office of the district attorney to retroactively accept a gift of design services and furniture, valued at a total of $26,445.43 from various donors. district attorneyy3/25/13; received from department.4/2/13; received and assigned to the budget and finance sub-committee.4/24/13; continued.5/3/13; transferred to the budget 130274 [accept gift - design services and furniture - $26,445.43]1302749.resolution authorizing the office of the district attorney to retroactively accept a gift of design services and furniture, valued at a total of $26,445.43 from various donors. district attorneyy3/25/13; received from department.4/2/13; received and assigned to the budget and finance sub-committee.4/24/13; continued.5/3/13; transferred to the budget 130274 [accept gift - design services and furniture - $26,445.43]1302749.resolution authorizing the office of the district attorney to retroactively accept a gift of design services and furniture, valued at a total of $26,445.43 from various donors. district attorneyy3/25/13; received from department.4/2/13; received and assigned to the budget and finance sub-committee.4/24/13; continued.5/3/13; transferred to the budget and finance committee.: we have our district
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attorney. thank you for being here. >> thank you, committee members. i want to that happening thank you for the opportunity. our office is a general fund. there are many needs that we are unable to fund. we just finished approving a grant from the foundation. we are looking for other partners in order to get the work done and there is another item that was not here because it was below $50,000. we got another grant from the saddleback foundation for research justice project for juveniles. again, if there is an effort from my office and myself personally in order to be able to get the work done and do it with the minimum impact for taxpayers when we can. this is an item where we got some furniture for our executive office and for victims services lounge. the donations were made to the city. this is for the sole purpose of conducting city business. the furniture in question will remain in the
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district attorneys office and will stay there through its useful life and when that concludes it will be removed and deposed of according to city regulations. concerning the furniture, originally we believe through advice that it was permissible for this office for each additional gift would be below $10,000. oufr from advice from the city attorney it was suggested it would be most appropriate for this group being the amount is $10,000. for full transparency and issue was brought before the board. they have determined the donation was appropriately accepted as a gift to the city
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of san francisco. with that i'm ready to answer any questions that you may have. >> thank you mr. district attorney and mr. avalos? >> thank you for being here. and for presenting. you said the fppc ruled on this already? is that correct? >> that's correct. they were contacted and looked into it and determined there was nothing inappropriate and they will not be investigating this matter. >> do you have a copy from them saying that >> i do not. >> do you have anything they have provided? >> we have the oral discussion. you are welcome to call the fppc yourself if you desire. >> i appreciate that, but since the investigation i was hoping
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that you would provide so the evidence for that. if it's just based on your work as a lawyer, if you say something, it has to be verified. >> the fcc did not close the investigation. >> is there -- >> i hope you are not thinking i'm here giving you misleading information. it's on the record. >> it's common practice to present information, to ask questions here. and i want to ask questions that it's about providing evidence of something it's something i do all the time. sometimes those questions aren't very welcome by people
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who present, but i do believe that it's in my right in my work to ask the questions. if you do not have evidence of that. i take you on your word for that. just by asking the question, i don't think it goes too far in my role as member of this panel. >> absolutely. i'm not questioning the fact that you are questioning, i'm just telling you that i would hope that you understand if i'm telling you that we were given an oral statement that there would be no investigation, that they felt there was nothing inappropriate that you would take my word for it. certainly if you want to verify it that's fine. your right to question i get it. >> i take your word for it. i draw a different opinion of or get a reaction within me. i totally accept that. can we move on to my other questions. i do have a question about whether there was also request
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for investigation with a local ethics commission. is that correct? >> personally i'm not aware of that. >> can i ask a question for our city attorney, john give ner. >> the ethics commission question, ethics commission complaints regarding conflicts of interest gifts are confidential. so general commission and the lawyers who advise the ethics commission don't confirm nor deny. sometimes people filing complaints make public statements. i'm filing a complaint against supervisor x about this issue. i'm not aware of any public announcements of any complaints being filed at the ethics commission. i am aware that there is a letter in
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the board's file regarding a letter or complaint with the fpcc. >> right, so were you not tracking or monitoring an fpcc investigation yourself. no, we don't track it. >> we talked about the fpcc investigation and you said you hadn't heard anything about it. >> my office isn't aware. when people file against city officials, we see if there are any public announcements about it. we don't track it or get involved or represent the individuals in those investigations. >> even when there is except an expense about when we approve
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accept an expense during an investigation. would that make us -- whether we should wait for the investigation to be done be we accept an expense. that came from you that we have the option of waiting for that investigation to happen. and so there was a request of whether we had an investigation or not and it seemed like it wasn't important to track on the city attorneys side. >> supervisor, i would be happy to address any of the issues raised in the letter submitted by mr. mars doll in the boards file. the question of whether the board can act while an investigation is pending, is yes, the board could approve
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this resolution, could couldn't the resolution appending the outcome of the investigation. we don't track it. i get e-mails from the fpcc when they have resolved complaints and i review those to see if there are any. >> i think we had a misunderstanding because in our conversation i thought you had been aware of it whether there was an on going investigation or not and you hadn't heard of any results. so i assume it was something were you looking at as a matter to providing this to this item. >> i'm sorry if i gave you that impression. i have been aware of this resolution pepding at the board. have read newspaper accounts of it, reviewed the board file but i haven't xhuptd -- communicated with the fpccm
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with the fpcc against the city officials. >> okay. could you talk about what was required and reporting from the district attorneys office. i know that he sought advice from a city attorney and filed a certain way and may have gotten different advice is that led to a misunderstanding. can you characterize the process of how this went about? >> let me talk about the general rules that apply in situations like this. as you know, just stepping back in terms of our conversations wtd district attorneys office, we tried to respect the confidentiality of our relationships with each official and not disclose the content with individual
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officials unless there is a legal need for other officials to know, but i'm happy to talk about the self disclosure obligation that apply to the office here and i can tell you generally, we give the same advice in these situations no matter who is asking. so the rules that i will, that i can explain here are the rules that we would explain to anyone coming to us with these questions. when a department receives a gift from an outside source there are a number of obligation before the department receives an approval. if the person gets a gift of over a hundred dollars, they are required to report it on the website and who gave it and whether that s any
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business with the city. the department must every -- >> was that done by the district attorney attorneys office. >> i did look at the website and i did see it had been reported. every july, every department that receives gifts must submit a report to the board of supervisors. that deadline hepatitis come obviously in this case. the department should coordinate with the controllers office to make sure the gift is accounted for by the controller for budgeting purposes and 2, self disclosure rule that i think have been discussed in the context of this set of gifts. if the department receives a
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gift that benefits an employee of the department, there is a special reporting requirement. the department must few ill what is called an fpcc form 801. basically it goes to three things. one that the department receives a gift, two, that gift ben fitted and individual and 3, the person decided which individual got the benefit wasn't the person and property who ended up getting the benefit. maybe a concrete way of describing that if someone gave a gift to the city attorneys office to send a lawyer to a conference and the city attorneys decided to send me to the conference with that gift. my office would file form 801 saying we got a gift from this source, john give ner benefited from it. and that report would be filed with the
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fpcc. there are some advice in the past from the f p cc indicating that if a department receives a gift that is used in the department, that should be reported as an on the form of 801. >> was that done in this case? >> i don't believe it was done in this case, the district attorney can probably speak to that and i can also -- that's the form 801. the district attorney did file another form, form 803 which is designs for the self disclosure of the form. it's for the reform act which the fpcc regulates. when an elected official asks someone to make a donation to a
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certain non-profit or government agency and the person bho has been solicited makes a donation of $5,000 or more, the elected official has to file a form 803. essentially saying, i asked someone done or s to give money to this non-profit or to the city department and done or s gave this. that report is filed with the elected officials department and then transmitted to the ethics commission which i believe has those on its website. >> so the other one, that goes to the state. why we don't have the questions i understand that happened. >> yes, the 801 is filed with the f pbc, the 803 is filed
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with the department and with the ethics commission. >> okay. thank you. you had filed the 80 1 with the f pc 3? >> no. with we filed the 803. we followed the process that is required. >> is it in your opinion mr. give ner that 801 is required or not? >> our advice in situation like this where a department receives a benefit and it goes to the head office, that the department should file an 801 indicating that that individual received the benefit of the gift. >> that wasn't done in this case. >> that's correct. it was not done. we believe it was a gift
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to the city. we have consulted the fpcc has agreed that it was a gift and we believe we are within the law. >> the fpbc it's a gift but we have the 801 that if it's a gift for the benefit of the individual that would require an 801. you don't believe that's the case? >> that's incorrect. the 803 is a different track. it's a gift that is in this case for the benefit of the city. we consulted with the fpcc. this is an 803 as a gift. we have filed the proper forms. this is a state law and we are within the state law according to the body that regulates this process. >> i understand. just asking about the 801. the words i got from mr. gibner if the
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department receives a gift and whether that would require an 801 and it would seem like it would, but i'm sure if it's a firm requirement or if it's a good thing to do. can you answer that question? >> you seem to not be totally firm about whether it's a mandate of something whether it should be done. >> it is a mandate when a department receives a gift that benefits an employer or officer that the department must file an 801 or if the department doesn't file an 801 then the gift is a personal gift to the recipient, the individual and is subject to the gift form 700 reporting that applied to that individual. there is the fpcc advice that indicates when a department receives a gift that
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is designated for an official's office that that is the type of gift that the city received that benefits an individual official as should be reported on the 801. there may be situation where both an 801 and 803 are appropriate. the form 803 is a filing requirement that derives from campaign filing law, 801 is derived from gift and conflict laws. if a gift is behested or solicited by an elected official exceeds $5,000 goes to a department and benefits an individual in that department then both are appropriate. >> are we passed any deadlines for passing 801 for this department? >> the 801 is due within 30
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days of receipt of the gift. snow terms of how the fppc enforces that requirement, i would have to refer to it. i don't have any personal experience. >> that's well passed that time. >> that is my understanding. >> i guess another question is it too late to pass an 801. it seems like that process should have been taken and it wasn't. i would feel much more comfortable approving the expense following the requirements in terms of the reporting for the department of the individuals benefitting the department. >> as you might imagine situations like this come up, not that in frequently with departments or with individuals who miss the deadlines on items forms 700, 802 and 801 and 803.
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yes, if the filing is required, you should file it even if you have missed the deadlines. there may be consequences from the f ppc from the general filing. the best thing to do when you realize that you need to complete a filing is to complete it even if it's after the deadline. >> mr. gaskin would you consider filing an 801 along with the 803 you have already filed? >> no. i would not. i believe the 803 meets the requirement. this is not a gift for my personal benefit. some of the furniture is for the lounge and the other one is from the executive office where i conduct city business. i have been advised and i believe i had appropriate advice given
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the fpcc decision. the 803 was a process and i would not be filing and 801. >> another question for mr. gibner. just a question about personal benefit. does that mean that you can actually receive a gift for a department that benefits an individual and that gift could be situated in the departments building and perhaps the office of that individual that could be considered that gift does not necessarily benefit that individual is that possible? that seems to be an interpretation that the fpcc is taking on this. >> i haven't spoken to anyone at fppc about this. they issue advice letters and they have a catalog of those letters. some of them are informal and some
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are them are more formal. they have issued written advice in the past that is available on their website and legal search engines indicating that a gift of artwork say that is to a department that is placed in the head officials office is a gift that could be a gift of personal benefit to the official that is to the department. >> okay. thank you. >> i'm going to move this over. next. >> supervisor breed. >> thank you, i just wanted to get some clarity because i'm looking at the list and my understanding is that reportable gifts are of $10,000 value and in this case there
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are several individual gifts that are underneath that amount and i'm just trying to understand why are these packaged in such a way that they are over the $10,000 threshold which require board approval. i don't understand that. i just need clarity to why does this need board approval in the first place especially since it comes from individuals and in this case it's been packaged as one thing. >> a good question. originally we didn't think we had any reporting requirements and we were told as much as this process evolved and to make it clear, not all the gifts came at the same time. there was a period of time, someone came in at the latter part last year
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and the early part of this year. during this process there were discussions and in those discussions i elected to be for full transparency, the reality was that there was an alternative opinion and that would have been that we are here today because not all have exceeded. the people that gave them were out of the understanding of their own rules. i'm here on my own to make sure there is transparency. they have exactly the same information. i took it upon to layout every single gift.
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>> who were the checks maid payable for the gifts. i don't -- >> i don't have an answer for you. >> and did you ask this to be done directly from these individuals? >> i did not. someone might, there were others that thought by other people like charlie schultz herself offered to go out and help. what occurred here is when i moved into office, my office had no furniture. the previous occupant of that office owned the furniture that was there. >> and she purchased that furniture herself. >> she owned it. i'm not sure how that process worked. so initially we put some
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secretarial furniture there. there was some talk about putting different furniture and i saw needs around the victims services lounge where we serve about 5,000 victims every year. >> i'm familiar with that lounge. >> you know it generally hasn't been a very welcoming place. we are trying to make it. there was a discussion with charlotte and others and she took it upon herself to take up the project, i believe she's the one that went out after most of the funding for this. >> okay. i can just make a few comments, i know as someone who just started office, one of the challenges for me was good furniture, having a nice office and having quality furniture in my office was really important to me and i actually purchased
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it myself and plan to take it with when i leave as well. i want to make sure that we are not being redundant about following the laws of reporting things that only require maybe one reporting mechanism or things that don't even meet the requirement threshold. it's clear that this information is here, it's available to the public and i think what i'm happy about is that regardless of who the district attorney is in place, that this furniture will remain in that office for others to continue to use and yes, i probably would have liked to have seen this before it actually happened but in this particular case it hasn't
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and i think that we just move forward and approve this and from my perspective as a new supervisor, let this be a warning to anyone who wants to raise money to have furniture or anything else in this particular capacity that they look at what the laws are and look at what the requirements are which i did to make sure it was okay for me to purchase that stuff and bringing it into city hall before i took those steps. i think it's important for any department that uses this as a way to do business should do that. i'm happy to move this item forward. >> supervisor mar. >> it's helpful to